Summer Moments…

I can’t believe the summer has come, and  is almost gone already! Time does go by so quickly. While it was passing I tried to hold on to some of those summer moments, painting my way through them.  Here is some of what transpired.



The Pond at Yaddo, 8×10 oil pastel


Queen Anne’s Lace, 810 oil pastel


Through the Plains, 8×10 oil pastel


Cascading Falls, 8×10 oil pastel


Well, here it is Thanksgiving weekend, and in a few weeks it will holiday time once again. I haven’t posted in a while, and realized it is because I have really been making an effort to spend as much time as I can soaking up my favorite season, Autumn. It has been a beautiful season this year, and as always, one that seems too short. Here are a few of the pieces I painted to remind me of the season I enjoy so much. ~Rita


November Song, 8×10 oil pastel



My Kitchen Window, 8×10 oil pastel



Autumn Falls, 8×10 oil pastel

Still Life with Jug

As most of you know who follow this blog, I mostly paint landscapes, and have a particular love for this area and the Hudson River School Painters. But every once in a while, I really get an itch to do something different, and often it is a still life that seems to be calling to me. Yesterday was one of those days, and here is the result of that calling. ~Rita


Still Life with Jug, oil pastel

Unexpected Guests…

Saturday, while the weather was nice,  I went to a new spot to paint outside… a water canal park which is part of the Hudson River Canal System.  There is lots of water, and marshy areas that are really beautiful. As I was walking along the path to set up my easel there was a four-foot  heron who decided to walk a few feet in front of me on the path. Surprisingly he was not afraid of me, and we walked “together” for quite a way.  As I watched him   I thought what a wonderful unexpected guest!  But as my day went on, I  was quickly  reminded that all guests aren’t created equal….

After I set up my easel and started painting in the late afternoon sun, I was attacked by a swarm of gnats! And when I say swarm, I mean swarm.  They were getting on the painting, in my hair, and biting my arms.  And, guess who forgot to pack the bug spray?  Needless to say, the session was cut short, and the painting finished in the studio. Here is  my painting, Canal Park, which  holds memories of two of the most unexpected of  guests.  ~Rita


Canal Park, 8×10 oil pastel

Round Lake Preserve

I went out for a short hike yesterday, to find a new preserve that had opened up nearby. Most of the trails are currently under construction  and not open for public use, and consequently  there really wasn’t much to see.  However there was one spot…. a boardwalk that opened into to the lake, which was surrounded by a spread of dense water lilies, quietly floating  in the late afternoon sun. It was really quite a sight.  As I looked at the lily pads and the glistening reflections on the water, I thought what a  silent, peaceful sanctuary that I have stumbled upon.  ~Rita


Round Lake Preserve, 5×7 oil pastel

Thermostat Wars…


Winter Sun, 8×10 oil pastel

Yes, I know it is June, and I am not sure what is going on in your home, but this time of year typically starts the thermostat wars in my house. I am always way too hot, and my husband is always cold. The thermostat is constantly in flux, with each of us pretending to get up to do something and quickly bumping up or down the dial as nonchalantly as possible. I have a feeling this happens in more homes than I can imagine. In any case, although it is June, and my mind should be on the beautiful summer season, when I sat down to paint the other day, this is where my palette took me.  And if you lived in my house, it would be no surprise why.  ~Rita

The Artist as Native


Peters Kill Falls, 8×10 oil pastel

A few years ago my son bought me a book for Christmas called “The Artist as Native: Reinventing Regionalism”. The book is a collection of thoughts by various artists who celebrate the places they live and work.  I guess it is  universal that  there are places that get into your soul, and become a part of you. My latest painting is of one of those places here in upstate New York. The terrain is filled with  steep ledges  that jut out over forests, and waterfalls that drop very dramatically.  I didn’t get to spend a lot of time at this particular spot, but this view has been hijacking my thoughts since I got back. And when that happens, there is only one thing to do: Paint it.   ~Rita,

Lavender Fields

Lavender Fields….. I don’t think there are any  in this part of New York, but I wish there were, as I find that they are truly breathtaking. The inspiration for this painting  came from a photograph by photographer/ blogger Kim  at Thanks Kim, for letting me use your beautiful photo! ~Rita


Lavender Fields, 8×10 oil pastel

Water in Two Forms

I have always been attracted to water. All forms of water: from nature’s ponds, oceans rivers and streams to rain on the sidewalk, and ice cubes in a glass. My latest two paintings are both of water in two very different forms. The first is of  the ocean’s  powerful  waves. And the second is rainwater, shortly after a downpour on  town roads, reflecting the colors of the city . Whether it is water in its most natural form, or the interplay of water  manmade color and light, I believe water is  truly one of those gifts that is a feast for the eyes and nourishes the soul.  ~Rita



Crashing Waves, 11×14 oil pastel

Evening Rain Final

Early Evening Rain, 8×10 oil pastel

Those Quiet Reprieves…

It was one of those days today. I ran through my day doing a little of this and a little of that. All those things you really don’t want to do but has to be done…. worked on my taxes, stayed on hold with my insurance company forever, stayed in a line too long at the post office, went to the bank, got soaked in an unexpected downpour, etc., Now at midnight  I am very tired, and thinking that I wanted to post the painting I finished yesterday. I find myself wondering about what I want to say about this particular painting. And as I was wondering, I passed by my studio, the painting still on the easel, and  immediately knew what I wanted to say. Whether it is a landscape, a still life, or a dancer, these images I see and try to create in art bring me to a quiet reprieve from life. Watching these dancers, in their world of color and movement, concentrating on their practice quiets me. A quiet reprieve from the frenetic life we all experience at times. For tonight, it was just what I needed.  ~Rita


Ballet Practice, 8×10 oil pastel